Local Forecast Update… Tuesday 4:25pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Tuesday afternoon! It has turned out to be a hot summer day, with highs reaching the lower 90s across west and central Alabama. A few spotty storms have developed over west Alabama, but most of the state is dry. The risk of any one spot getting rained on this afternoon is less than 20%. Temperatures will gradually cool into the 80s this evening and lower to middle 70s after midnight.

A weak disturbance will move across Alabama on Wednesday, sparking the development of a few scattered afternoon and evening storms. The risk of rain is only at 30%, so most of the state will remain dry. As that wave moves to our west, an upper air ridge will build into the area from the east on Thursday through the weekend. We can expect hot temperatures, with low rain chances. The risk of rain each afternoon is only at 10%, so if you get a cooling shower, consider yourself lucky. Heat index will approach 100 each afternoon on Thursday through Sunday.

In the tropics, we have Tropical Storm Gaston, with winds at 65mph, according to the 5pm advisory. That storm is in the eastern Atlantic and will turn out to sea, not impacting land. What was Fiona has died out to the east of Bermuda. Also, there’s a tropical wave near the Lesser Antilles, which we’re watching carefully.

Below is a post I made a little earlier this afternoon on the tropical wave that may have some impact on the US… Still lots of uncertainties.


Let me start by warning you… You are going to see lots of crazy “forecasts” of some big central Gulf Coast hurricane in a week from now. Please pay attention to the source. If it’s not your local meteorologist or from the National Hurricane Center, then don’t pay attention to the post. We are having a hard time fighting people that are trying to scare you to get page views and ad revenue by a format called “click bait.” I’m here to tell you what we know and what we don’t know and not to scare you. If there comes a time where urgency is needed, then you will hear it from me.

Here’s what we know: There is a tropical wave nearing the northern Lesser Antilles this evening. Hurricane Hunters have been in the disturbance and did not find a closed circulation established yet. For now, it is only a tropical wave, not a storm or hurricane. The system is fighting dry air, which is basically choking it and preventing rapid development. The model plots above continue to indicate a west northwest movement towards south Florida by the weekend and maybe into the Gulf of Mexico late in the weekend and early next week.

Unfortunately, our computer models are in an incredible disagreement, which leads to low confidence. This also means that anyone claiming they know what is going to happen 7 days out is just guessing. We don’t know at this time where the feature will end up or if it will even develop. We will know that in the next few days, but not at this moment. Let me show you an example of our two most reliable global models below.  To the right is the GFS, valid next Tuesday morning. That model has nothing in the Gulf or the west Atlantic. This means the GFS suggests the tropical wave does NOT develop. To the left is the EURO or the ECMWF, valid for next Tuesday morning. That model has a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Until both of these models can agree, somewhat, this is an incredibly challenging forecast. Fortunately, we have 5 to 7 days to watch it. Again, if there is a risk to the US and more specifically, our local weather, I will let you know about and warn you days in advance. E

Based on the forecasted upper air pattern, if something does indeed develop, there’s a fair chance it impacts Florida and moves into the Gulf of mexico. I do expect the system to struggle over the next 36 to 48 hours, as some dry air will continue to get absorbed into the system. Once we get into the Friday, Saturday time frame, the environment may become favorable for development.

There’s just too much speculation and too many questions at the moment to give you an impact area and intensity. Keep checking back with us for updates.

Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott


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